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Calderstones Hospital

Volume 640: debated on Monday 8 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Health if he will make a statement of the outcome of the review of patients detained in Calderstones Hospital.

Five hundred and fifty-one patients were discharged from compulsory powers during the six months beginning 1st November, 1960. The total number of patients subject to compulsory powers decreased during this period from 1,204 to 646.

Did the review reveal that some tragic mistake had been made? While welcoming the recent releases of patients who have been detained for periods up to 33 years, for which we should be grateful to the new superintendent, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that similar cases are still being brought to the attention of Lancashire Members of Parliament, including one case only last week?

I will always look at any case that hon. Members bring to my attention, but the right interpretation of these figures is that they represent the change in point of view and in approach which was embodied in the new Mental Health Act.

Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that all these long-stay patients will be reviewed by the medical superintendent and the hospital management board?